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Student Section Case Study: USC

The University of Southern California became a Biggest Fan client right when the world was shutting down with Covid – which left a lot of uncertainty of the future of sports and fandom. In February of 2022, Biggest Fan scheduled a site visit to the UCLA game and kickstarted the partnership.

Before working with Biggest Fan, USC had tried all the traditional marketing strategies for students: free promos, rewards apps and hoping for a good team or that the brand "USC" would drive student attendance and engagement. Unfortunately, these strategies were falling flat and they knew they needed something different. After meeting in Las Vegas for the Pac-12 tournament, marketing staff members and Brandon (CEO, Biggest Fan) outlined a game plan that included the importance of student leadership, branding and an organic experience.

At the start of the partnership, USC had sent out some collateral to promote the student leadership roles, but Brandon wanted to hand-pick some leaders himself. Throughout the game, he went all scoured the student section, engaging students to weigh their interest in creating an electric student section in Galen. He met Carson and Ben – two students who were always standing and cheering and found themselves on the video board on more than one occasion.

Ben and Carson worked with Biggest Fan and the USC marketing team to establish the brand "The Legion". They were the only two leaders in the fall of 2022 before identifying three more excited students to bring onto the leadership team. The leaders were always easy to work with and excited about taking ownership of their student section experience. Later in the year, The Legion added three more leaders, Bennett, Daniel, and Zach, who pushed the movement further and brought a fun, young energy.

Without Biggest Fan, USC would have had to continue to rely on rewards apps, free promos, winning teams and star players. These factors weren't producing a rowdy student section. But with the help of Biggest Fan, we found rockstar leaders, established a new slick brand and incorporated in-game systems for cheers. The results were immediate. Students began feeling more comfortable getting wild at games and joining the movement.

While much work has to be done, The Legion is on an upward trajectory.


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